new england community developments

A publication exploring emerging issues in community development and consumer affairs.

The last issue of New England Community Developments was Issue 1, 2012. Please be sure to see related publications from the Boston Fed:

Last Issue

Issue 1, 2012

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Articles:
What Do the Neighbors Think? Assessing the Community Impact of Neighborhood Stabilization Efforts
In the wake of the mortgage crisis, neighborhood stabilization efforts have been launched to allay some of the "secondary effects of the mortgage crisis—the economic and social impacts on properties, neighborhoods, and communities." One example of this kind of effort is the federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which provided several million dollars to the City of Boston in order to acquire, rehabilitate, and resell abandoned, foreclosed homes in high-foreclosure neighborhoods. The author discusses preliminary findings from ongoing research exploring the effect of foreclosure and NSP intervention on neighborhood social stability.

New Ideas for Old REOs: A Disposition Framework for Marketing REOs for Rental Properties
The unprecedented accumulation of foreclosed properties in recent years has presented a challenge to communities, banks, and policymakers. This article outlines a potential disposition framework for government-sponsored and private enterprises to identify which foreclosed properties would be most appropriate for rental and which would remain most appropriate for homeownership. This disposition framework is then applied to the existing stock of foreclosed properties in Massachusetts, and the authors explore the possible utility of this analytic technique as a policy tool.

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Archives

Years: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

 

2011

Issue 1, 2011

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Articles:
Servicer Performance in Processing of HAMP Loan Modifications: A Survey of Massachusetts-Based Counseling Agencies pdf
The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) attempts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by compensating servicers that allow borrowers to modify the terms of their mortgages. To understand the seemingly troubled HAMP process, the Community Development unit of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank of Boston administered surveys to loan-modification counselors. The results indicate that the process takes much longer than the guidelines indicate and that servicers frequently claim the applications are incomplete. The surveys were run twice to assess any improvements.

Variations on an American Dream: Alternative Homeownership Models pdf
With homeownership central to the national economy and U.S. housing policy, the drop in homeownership rates could have long-term negative consequences. A growing body of research argues that alternative homeownership products, such as limited equity cooperatives and lease-to-own models, can offer participants many of the benefits of ownership while reducing some risks. However, these models are not widely implemented or understood. This article asks experts in the housing field about the prospects of greater adoption of these models.

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2010

Issue 1, 2010

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Articles:
Maintaining Diversity in America's Transit-Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood Change pdf
In some newly transit-rich neighborhoods (TRNs), a new station can set in motion a cycle of unintended consequences in which core transit users—such as renters and low-income households—are priced out of the neighborhood in favor of higher-income, car-owning residents who are less likely to use public transit. The authors describe these patterns and present policy tools for shaping equitable neighborhood change.

The Changing Faces of America's Children and Youth pdf
Recent U.S. Census Bureau projections indicate that by the middle of this century, non-Hispanic whites will cease to be a majority of the American population. In this article we document how for America's youngest residents, the future is already here. America's rapidly changing racial and ethnic composition has important implications for intergroup relations, ethnic identities, and electoral politics.

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2009

Issue 1, 2009

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Articles:
Challenges of the Small Rental Property Sector
pdf
Most rental housing in America is found in small multifamily buildings and this sector provides most of the options for low- and moderate-income (LMI) renters. With a growing wave of investors buying distressed properties in LMI neighborhoods, there are concerns about the ability of investors to properly maintain their investments. The author explores the small multifamily sector and suggests ways that policymakers can move beyond code enforcement and provide a combination of carrots and sticks to incentivize and increase the presence of “good actors."

The Myth of the Irresponsible Investor: Analysis of Southern New England’s Small Multifamily Properties pdf
Comparing the borrowing trends of owner-occupants versus investors in small multifamily properties reveals that investors may not engage in as much risky behavior as public sentiment leads one to expect. The authors investigate data from Southern New England and debunk several myths about the “irresponsible investor.”

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2008

Issue 3, 2008

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Articles:
Promoting Banking Services among Low-Income Customers pdf
Many low-income people rely on payday lenders, check cashers, and other alternative financial service providers to get by. But the high costs make it hard for families to save. A 2008 Brookings Institution report highlights the reasons that the so­called unbanked turn to such services. It also suggests solutions−including both expanded bank offerings and increased access to government programs that stabilize incomes and reduce the need for emergency, high-cost credit.

Using New Markets Tax Credits to Mitigate the Impact of Foreclosures on Communities pdf
The author presents an overview of what is being done and offers community development practitioners’ ideas about how to refine and strengthen the federal program. One example: change the program to allow a separate, additional allocation of tax credits for the purchase and resale of foreclosed property in low-income areas.

Massachusetts’ Efforts to Address Foreclosed Properties pdf
Massachusetts has been ahead of the curve in combating neighborhood deterioration as real-estate-owned (lender-owned) foreclosed properties increase. Affordable housing developers, community groups, municipal and state officials, and nonprofits have created a Foreclosed Property Task Force and an online database that is accessible by all the partners. The database is already improving decision making about where resources would have the most impact.

Complete Issue pdf

Issue 2, 2008

New England Community Developments

 

 

Articles:
The Marriage of Green and Affordable pdf
Developers are beginning to apply green design to affordable housing. The budding practice has the potential to provide significant benefits to lower-income families, who pay proportionately more for energy and are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. This article discusses the case for uniting green and affordable and highlights the first national design and construction criteria for green affordable homes.

Data Corner pdf
Understanding Subprime Mortgage Defaults

Research Review pdf
Spillover Effects of Foreclosure on Communities

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Issue 1, 2008

New England Community Developments

 

 

Articles:
The Elm City Resident Card: New Haven Reaches Out to Immigrants pdf
Cities with sizable immigrant populations are responding to the issue of illegal immigration in different ways. In 2004, the City of New Haven began to actively collaborate with its immigrant population for the purpose of finding ways to increase public safety and integrate immigrant residents into the civic life of the community. This article describes some of the policy choices made by the city in recent years.

Data Corner pdf
Recent data on remittances to Latin America, including remittances from New England.

Community Affairs News pdf
Current research, data, and consumer information from the Boston Fed’s Community Affairs unit on the topics of mortgages and foreclosures.

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2007

Issue 4, 2007

New England Community Developments

 

Articles:
Foreclosure Prevention and Intervention Efforts in New England pdf
As foreclosure rates have risen across New England, many have been asking for clarification about the full range of resources available to borrowers. This article describes the foreclosure prevention and intervention efforts currently underway in New England. We highlight the region’s largest initiatives as well as discuss the challenges these programs are facing as they work to provide assistance to consumers.

New England Updates, Q3 2007 pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

Issue 3, 2007

New England Community Developments

 

 

Articles:
Massachusetts Mortgage Summit Issues Recommendations
pdf
In April 2007, the Massachusetts Division of Banks reported on the recommendations of its mortgage summit. The summit brought together a wide range of stakeholders to develop concrete responses to the problem of rising foreclosures. This article describes the collaborative process used in the mortgage summit and the recommendations issued. These recommendations illustrate a number of possible remedies to limit foreclosures and their impact on consumers and communities.

New England Updates, Q2 2007 pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

Issue 2, 2007

New England Community Developments

 

 

Articles:
Innovation in Technical Assistance and Lending for Very Small Businesses pdf
Everyday entrepreneurs, everyday people who run their own businesses, are often at a disadvantage in terms of their level of business expertise and access to resources. This article identifies innovative partnerships between lenders with technical assistance providers in the state of Massachusetts that are helping everyday entrepreneurs receive the guidance and financial assistance that they need to start or grow their businesses.

New England Updates, Q1 2007 pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

Issue 1, 2007

New England Community Developments

 

 

 

Articles:
Venture Capital in New England Secondary Cities pdf
Over the past two decades, venture capital has been one of the major drivers of the U.S. economy. This article examines venture capital investment in secondary cities, cities outside of the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), including New England secondary cities, and identifies factors that may explain how certain smaller cities attract venture capital.

New England Updates, Q4 2006 pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

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2006

Issue 3, 2006

New England Community Developments

 

Articles:
Leveraging Immigrant Remittances for Development pdf
Some observers have suggested that one way to draw immigrants into the financial system is for banks to tap the large global remittance market. The authors of this article propose a model that would leverage remittances to both draw immigrants into the banking system as well promote economic development in immigrant communities in the United States and immigrants’ home countries.

New England Updates pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

Issue 2, 2006

New England Community Developments

 

 

Articles:
An Overview of the CDFI Industry pdf
The community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry is at a crossroads in terms of identifying strategies for increasing overall sustainability and scale, and ultimately, impact. This article presents an overview of the CDFI industry in the United States and New England and identifies the changes and challenges facing CDFIs and what they indicate for the sector’s future.

Putting CDFI Fund Dollars to Work: New England CDFIs Bring Capital and Credit to Low-income Communities pdf

New England Updates pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

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2005

Issue 1, 2005

New England Community Developments

 

Articles:
Use of Alternative Credit Data Offers Promise, Raises Issues pdf
Companies are beginning to use alternative credit data in a variety of ways for the purposes of making credit decisions. This article looks at the prospective benefits of using the new data, examines the potential usefulness of various sources of alternative data, and offers some considerations for lenders, consumers, and policymakers when these data are used.

New England Updates pdf
Recent events in community development and consumer affairs for each of the six New England states.

Complete Issue pdf

 

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